10 Quotes from Saint Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles

Today in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, we celebrate the feast of The Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle. One of the most powerful miracles in the Early Church was the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, while he was traveling to Damascus. This miracle displays for us how faith develops from grace and builds when someone freely cooperates with it. The doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ was given clarity and evidence when Our Lord says – “Saul, Saul, why do persecute me?

As we celebrate this important feast in the Catholic Church, here are 10 of my favorite quotes from St. Paul (alas – the Sacred Scriptures!) to the Gentiles. There are many lines that I could quote but here’s an idea for you – start reading the New Testament if you haven’t read it already. You will love reading about the very Early Church!

1. “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.” – Romans 12:9-13

2. “But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God” – Romans 15:14-17

3. “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more.  To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under the law I became as one under the law—though not being myself under the law—that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law—not being without law toward God but under the law of Christ—that I might win those outside the law.  To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” – 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

4. “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.” – 1 Corinthians 11:27-29

Conversion of Saint Paul – Caravaggio (1600)

5. “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit[a] by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? Did you experience so many things in vain? – if it really is in vain.  Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?” – Galatians 3:1-5

6. “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.  As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” – Ephesians 5:21-33

7. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” – Ephesians 6:10-18

8. “Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name,  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:5-11

9. “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning[e] to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit[f] and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15

10. “Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but take your share of suffering for the gospel in the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago, and now has manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher,  and therefore I suffer as I do.” – 2 Timothy 1:8-11

Saint Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles…Pray for Us

Translation used: Revised Standard Edition – Second Catholic Edition. Ignatius Press, 2006.

“Mondays with Mary” – Mary in the Old Testament: The “Virgin Earth” (Part 4)

Picking up from where I left off last week in regards to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Old Testament, here is the next installment of a series that I wrote some time ago focusing on this very theme. A few years ago I did the first three parts, along with the Mary as Ark of the Covenant and the Esheth Yahil (Woman of Valor) from Proverbs 31. I will now conclude this series with additional parts through the upcoming Mondays. This part of the series will have titles instead of “Mary in the Old Testament”, however the corresponding part will be in the title as to unite it to the first installment.

Symbols in the Old Testament that relate to Mary are rich in the mysteries of God. In the Apostolic Constitution, Ineffabilis Deus, Blessed Pius IX, defines the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. He names a discreet number of Marian symbols; many that are expressly rich in regards to Mary’s Immaculate Conception. They are “Ark of Salvation,” “Jacob’s Ladder,” the “Burning Bush of Sinai,” the “Impregnable Tower,” the “Enclosed Garden,” the “City of God,” the Lily Among Thorns,” the “Incorruptible Wood”, and the “Strong Box of Immortality.”

When we contemplate on the biblical Marian symbols, we “possess a consistency of content and a characteristic incisiveness of expression which cannot but enlighten the mind, animate the sentiments and enrich the soul with a more concrete understanding of things in their multiple senses and significance: every symbol in reality is a word pregnant with understanding of and enthusiasm for the real.”

Sassoferrato - Virgin Mother

Sassoferrato – Virgin Mother

Biblical symbolism in relation to the Blessed Virgin Mary helps us transcend the person and mission she holds in salvation history. It enlightens are hearts and gives us a sense of deep warmth. Over the centuries, Marian biblical symbolism has found its origins in the Early Church Fathers, in Tradition, through the liturgy and in sacred art.

Today, we are going to focus on the Marian Symbol – The “Virgin Earth.”

Next week, we will examine The “Paradise of God” and “Closed Door,” “Gate of God,” “Gate of Heaven”.

The biblical symbol “Virgin Earth” focuses on the virginal womb of Mary, which through the power of the Holy Spirit came forth Jesus Christ, the New Adam. In the teachings of the Early Church Fathers, this term, “Virgin Earth” corresponds to Mary who surpasses the first Eve, essentially because the first Eve came forth from the side of Adam. It is through her Immaculate Conception and that she is “full of grace” (Lk 1:28), where this term of her is fully embraced. Her mission was to conceive in the womb of virginity Jesus Christ, the New Adam, who is the Word of God incarnate.

As the “Virgin Earth”, Mary is united of Christ and with Christ. According to St. Bonaventure, in union with Christ and his Incarnation, the greatest glory of God, she is “the absolute primacy of the New Adam and of the New Eve in relation to our first parents.” Where Adam came forth from the first Earth; now the New Adam came forth from the second Virgin Earth.

O Blessed Mother of God, Virgin Earth…Pray for Us.


Burke, Raymond L., Stefano M. Manelli, Luigi Gambero, Manfred Hauke, Peter M. Fehlner, Arthur Burton. Calkins, Paul Haffner, Alessandro M. Apollonio, Edward P. Sri, Charles M. Mangan, Enrique Llamas Martínez, Neil J. Roy, Etienne Richer, Vladimir Zelinskiĩ, and Mark I. Miravalle. Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons. Goleta, CA: Queenship Pub, 2008. Print.

“Mondays with Mary” – The Blessed Virgin Mary in the Old Testament

It is in the Sacred Scriptures that we see the Blessed Virgin Mary come alive for us in salvation history. It is through the Old Testament writings that we see the birth of Mary into the world. The Blessed Virgin Mary, although a creature like the rest of us, finds her origins in the Heavens (her Immaculate Conception), as did the Incarnation of the Word, for as the Old Testament scriptures speak of her, they also reveal to us the universal Savior and Redeemer. This is so because God willed it to be so.

When we read the Old Testament scriptures, as they were by the Early Church Fathers through a “biblical-theological exegesis” scope, in light of Jesus Christ and the Church, we find in the roots of these scriptures, a very strong sense of the Blessed Virgin Mary, theologically speaking, we find Mariology.

The document, The Jewish People and its Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible, produced by the Pontifical Biblical Commission firmly and distinctly says that the mystery of the Blessed Virgin Mary is found –

“…in the texts of the Old Testament explicitly and clearly. The genuine content of every revealed datum ‘finds is realization in Jesus’ (21, 6)…It has indeed been remarked that in the final analysis ‘we Christians, to understand fully the Scripture, not grasping merely the necessarily reductive meaning understood by the Hebrews, but their entire historical-theological content, must always read them not as if still Hebrews under the Old Covenant, blind in relation to the New, but as ‘Christians’ enlightened by Christ. This is to say, we must read them ‘in the light of Christ and of the Church’ so as to grasp the entire content, ‘hidden,’ but historic and real, of Divine Revelation contained in them and made manifest to us.”

Mary as New Ark of the Covenant - Icon

Examining the Old Testament scriptures as a whole in light of the Mariological biblical texts, we unearth many prophecies, Old Testament figures, as well as symbols, that all correspond to the Blessed Virgin Mary as “types” that are then fulfilled, or brought to completion, by her in the New Testament. We see the same “types” as well, even more so with Jesus Christ. Her presence in the Old Testament scriptures illuminates them in a way for us as Christians that that Hebrews failed to see.

These writings have been nurtured by the Early Church Fathers, through Sacred Tradition, by the Magisterium (teaching office of the Church) through the liturgy and through sacred art, from the earliest centuries to our present day.

To conclude today’s post, below are the “Mondays with Mary” where I written about these Old Testament scriptures in light of the Mariological revelations. Simply, it is where we begin to see the mystery of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Old Testament Scriptures –

“Mondays with Mary” – Mary in the Old Testament , Part 1

“Mondays with Mary” – Mary in the Old Testament, Part 2

“Mondays with Mary” – Mary in the Old Testament, Part 3

“Mondays with Mary” – Mary, the New Ark of the Covenant

“Mondays with Mary” – ‘Mother of Fairest Love’

“Mondays with Mary” – The Esheth Yahil (Woman of Valor)

“Mondays with Mary” – Symbols of the Blessed Virgin Mary

As I was writing today’s blog post, I realized there are some Marian prophecies, symbols and liturgical Old Testament Marian Symbols that I have failed to write on so far. In the upcoming weeks, I will focus on some of these for you.


Burke, Raymond L., Stefano M. Manelli, Luigi Gambero, Manfred Hauke, Peter M. Fehlner, Arthur Burton. Calkins, Paul Haffner, Alessandro M. Apollonio, Edward P. Sri, Charles M. Mangan, Enrique Llamas Martínez, Neil J. Roy, Etienne Richer, Vladimir Zelinskiĩ, and Mark I. Miravalle. Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons. Goleta, CA: Queenship Pub, 2008. Print.

“Mondays with Mary” – 10 Scripture passages from St. Luke’s Infancy Narrative that have influenced my Prayer life

Since tomorrow, October 18, is the feast for Saint Luke the Evangelist, I figured that I would draw from his own Infancy Narrative. The entire Infancy Narrative in St. Luke’s Gospel is beautiful, since it’s the Word of God and it’s the story and aftermath of the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, but ever since I studied Mariology at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, there are certain passages that move my heart either in prayer or during the Marian Solemnities in the liturgical cycle.

I can remember a time in graduate school sitting next to one of my fellow students in the Christ the King Chapel during Mass on the Immaculate Conception. When Mary’s Fiat was read during the Gospel Reading, we looked at each other and were brought to tears since our understanding of that scripture passage had drastically changed and we understood it differently than before. I remember thinking to myself that my relationship with Christ was strengthened because I now knew his Mother in a way I didn’t previously.

So for today’s “Mondays with Mary”, which happens to also be my 700th blog post, I give you 10 scripture passages from Saint Luke’s Infancy Narrative that have and continue to touch my heart. It’s fitting that the 700th post is a “Mondays with Mary”, since I have written for nearly 4 ½ years on the Blessed Virgin Mary. The translation of the scripture passages come the Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.

1. “And he came to her and said, ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!’ But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.’ And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus” (Lk 1:28-31)

2. “And Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I have no husband?’” (Lk 1: 34)

3. “And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word’” (Lk 1:38). [This was the aforementioned passage that brought me to tears when in graduate school]

4. “In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth” (Lk 1:39-40).

5. “’Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Lk 1:42-43) [Even as I write this to you today, my heart is penetrated with the words of St. Elizabeth, and think that these words could come from my lips.]


The Magnificat, which I have written about here

6. “’My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm,
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever’” (Lk 1:46-56).

7. “And Joseph also went from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary his betrothed, who was with child” (Lk 2:4-5).

8. “And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manager, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Lk 2:7).

9. “But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Lk 2:19).

10. “…And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed’” (Lk 2:34-35).

I would encourage you to read or reread the Infancy Narrative in the Gospel of Saint Luke. I would also encourage you to include meditating on these passages this week during your daily prayer time.

For more information pertaining to the Infancy Narratives, I would suggest reading Pope Benedict XVI’s book, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives.

Mary, the Most Holy Mother of God and Ever-Virgin…Pray for Us.

700th Blog Post 

Quick Lessons from the Catechism: Sacred Scripture

As we celebrate National Bible Week in the Catholic Church here in the United States, I found this to be the perfect opportunity for a QLC on the Sacred Scriptures. National Bible Week encourages all Catholics to read the Scriptures more, especially since we will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary tomorrow of the promulgation of the Second Vatican Council document on Divine Revelation known as Dei Verbum. To learn more about Dei Verbum, I would encourage you to read my article, which will be featured on Catholic Exchange on Wednesday, November 18.

For someone who did not begin to truly study the sacred page until his mid-20’s, I really have a love and devotion to the Sacred Scriptures and know how important they are when it comes to Theology as a whole as well as to the life of a Catholic. My passion for the Scriptures began in 2001 when studying the Book of Genesis through Gayle Somers’ Bible study program, Cor Ardens. When I was in graduate school for Theology at Franciscan, I took as many Scripture courses that were allowed to me just so I could have a deeper and complete understanding of the Scriptures. It was the best decision I made since now I run an Adult Faith Formation program that focuses on Bible studies.

Now that I have shared with you briefly my passion and background with the Sacred Scriptures, let’s turn our attention to what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches on the subject –

All Sacred Scripture is but one book, and this one book is Christ, “because all divine Scripture speaks of Christ, and all divine Scripture is fulfilled in Christ” (Hugh of St. Victor, De arca Noe 2,8:PL 176,642: cf. ibid. 2,9:PL 176,642-643). [#134]

“The Sacred Scriptures contain the Word of God and, because they are inspired, they are truly the Word of God” (DV 24). [#135]

God is the author of Sacred Scripture because he inspired its human authors; he acts in them and by means of them. He thus gives assurance that their writings teach without error his saving truth (cf. DV 11). [#136]

Interpretation of the inspired Scripture must be attentive above all to what God wants to reveal through the sacred authors for our salvation. What comes from the Spirit is not fully “understood except by the Spirit’s action’ (cf. Origen, Hom. in Ex. 4, 5: PG 12, 320). [#137]

The Church accepts and venerates as inspired the 46 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New. [#138]

Ignatius Press Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition

Ignatius Press Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition

The four Gospels occupy a central place because Christ Jesus is their center. [#139]

The unity of the two Testaments proceeds from the unity of God’s plan and his Revelation. The Old Testament prepares for the New and the New Testament fulfills the Old; the two shed light on each other; both are true Word of God. [#140]

“The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures as she venerated the Body of the Lord” (DV 21): both nourish and govern the whole Christian life. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps 119:105; cf. Is 50:4). [#141]

For a more complete understanding of this topic in the Catechism, I would suggest you also read paragraphs 101 through 133.

I have written my fair share of blog posts on the Sacred Scriptures through this blog in the past. If you are interested in reading those previous posts, you can do that Here.

The famous quote in regards to the Scriptures by St. Jerome, the Father of Biblical Science, says, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” I would also encourage you to check out the blog post titled after St. Jerome’s quote on the Catholic Diocese of Arlington blog Here. It has some great resources for you when it comes to reading and knowing the sacred page.

As we conclude, let us remember the words of Pope Benedict XVI in his document Verbum Domini (Word of the Lord),

With the Synod Fathers I express my heartfelt hope for the flowering of “a new season of greater love for sacred Scripture on the part of every member of the People of God, so that their prayerful and faith-filled reading of the Bible will, with time, deepen their personal relationship with Jesus”.

“Mondays with Mary” – The Burial of Our Lord, and the Loneliness of the Blessed Virgin

Today, we conclude the seven-week examination of The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady. For the past six weeks, I have focused on explaining these sorrows, which are meditated upon in the Mater Dolorosa Rosary. For today’s “Mondays with Mary”, we are going to focus our attention on the last sorrow – The Burial of Our Lord, and the Loneliness of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Burial of Our Lord or Jesus is laid in the Sepulcher is traditionally prayed as the Fourteenth Station of the Cross.

The Burial of Jesus Christ is written in all four Gospel accounts with each evangelist explaining his own account of what occurred. The one thing that stands out in all four accounts is the mention of Joseph of Arimathea. I spoke about Joseph of Arimathea in last week’s post, but essentially he was a righteous and virtuous man who was for the most part a silent follower of Jesus since he was a member of the Sanhedrin, a group that disliked Jesus and his teachings. However, at the death of Jesus, Joseph, along with Nicodemus (Jn 3:1-21,19:39) finds the courage to boldly ask for the body of Jesus to have him buried.

After confirming that Jesus died (Mk 15:44-45), Pilate then proceeded to give the body to Joseph. Our Lord Jesus Christ was buried in a tomb that is believed to have been a tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea, and a tomb that no one again was laid. St. Augustine says in In Ioannis Evangelium, “just as in the womb of the Virgin Mary none was conceived before him, none after him, so in this tomb none before him, none was buried after him.”

The Entombment of Christ - Caravaggio

The Entombment of Christ – Caravaggio

It’s believed that wealthy Jews had graves on their own properties meant for them and their families. Tombs in the early centuries were carved out of rock. The average tomb composed of a small vestibule in the front half of the tomb and the inner part of the tomb, or the vault, had a variety of etches carved in the walls where the bodies were laid.

In the case of Jesus Christ, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke speak about how the women were witnesses to the burial. As she was with him as he walked to Calvary, and as she stood at the Cross and watched him die, more than likely the Blessed Virgin Mary was a member of the group of women that watched Jesus be laid to rest in the tomb.

Although the Sacred Scriptures don’t speak of Mary’s loneliness after the burial of Jesus, the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary in some countries that speak Spanish is known as Nuestra Senora de la Soledad or Our Lady of Solitude. The devotion to Our Lady under this title was developed as she lay in wait beginning on Good Friday, continuing to Holy Saturday till the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.

Our Lady of Solitude - Philippines

Since Our Lady of Solitude is in mourning for the death of her Son, art often depicts Mary as wearing the traditional color of mourning, which is black. She is also kneeling before the tools of death that killed Jesus – the scourge, nails, hammer, rope, crown of thorns, spear, and the INRI sign placed above the head on the cross. There are angels that flank Mary separating the curtains to show Our Lady as the Sorrowful Mother.

Let us pray that we never look upon the Fourteenth Station of the Way of the Cross without remembering the sorrow and loneliness that the Blessed Virgin Mary endured for Jesus. Let us pray that when we pray the Stations of the Cross we too may come to know the loneliness of Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Passion and Death through the witness of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“Mondays with Mary”: The Descent from the Cross, and Jesus in the Arms of His Most Blessed Mother

Continuing with our examination of the Seven Sorrows of Mary, which are meditated in the Rosary of the Mater Dolorosa, today we discuss The Descent from the Cross, and Jesus in the Arms of His Most Blessed Mother.

Traditionally prayed as the Thirteenth Station of the Way of the Cross, the Descent from the Cross and Jesus in the Arms of His Most Blessed Mother is the most touching scene in a very brutal Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s the last scene before Jesus is buried in the tomb. Often depicted in art, as in Michelangelo’s Pieta (pictured below), the descent from the cross and Jesus in the arms of His Most Blessed Mother moves us emotionally in a way often hard to explain. I remember that first time, and the only time, I saw the Pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica. It was as if I was there personally when Jesus was laid in the arms of the Blessed Mother. The tears that flowed from my eyes and down my face were nearly uncontrollable.


A very instrumental character in these final scenes in the Gospels is St. Joseph of Arimathea. He was a wealthy, righteous, and holy man, who was part of the Sanhedrin, but did not condemn Jesus to die. He came forth with St. Nicodemus and assisted with the taking down of Jesus’ body from the cross, and the eventual burial of his body in the tomb. A tomb tradition believes was Joseph’s own, but because he was a believer of Jesus Christ, he gave it up for Our Lord’s body to be entombed. At the chance of risking his reputation in the Sanhedrin, he courageously and boldly stands up for Jesus Christ as a “disciple” and assists in the burial of Our Lord. It is for this reason that St. Joseph of Arimathea is the Patron Saint of Funeral Directors.

To help us understand today’s post a bit more, I turn to the visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich which are catalogued in the book, The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

“…When the body was taken down it was wrapped in linen from the knees to the waist, then placed in the arms of the Blessed Virgin, who, overwhelmed with sorrow and love, stretched them forth to receive their precious burden.

The Blessed Virgin seated herself upon a large cloth spread on the ground, with her right knee, which was slightly raised, and her back resting against some mantles, rolled together so as to form a species of cushion. No precaution had been neglected which could in any way facilitate to her – the Mother of Sorrows – in her deep affliction of soul, the mournful but most sacred duty which she was about to fulfill in regard to the body of her beloved Son. The adorable head of Jesus rested upon Mary’s knee, and his body was stretched upon a sheet. The Blessed Virgin was overwhelmed with sorrow and love. Once more, and for the last time, did she hold in her arms the body of her most beloved Son, to whom she had been unable to give any testimony of love during the longs hours of his martyrdom. And she gazed upon his wounds and fondly embraced his blood-stained cheeks, whilst Magdalene pressed her face upon his feet.”

The Descent from the Cross - Rogier van der Weyden. Created 1435-1438.

The Descent from the Cross – Rogier van der Weyden. Created 1435-1438.

Let us pray that we never look upon this Thirteenth Station of the Way of the Cross without remembering the hardship, sorrow, and love that the Blessed Virgin Mary endured and felt. Let us pray that when pray the Stations of the Cross we too may come to know the sorrow of Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Passion and Death.


Emmerich, Anne Catherine. The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Tan Books and Publishers, 2005.

Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament. Ignatius Press, 2010.

The Navarre Bible – The New Testament Expanded Edition. Four Courts/Scepter, 2008.